Virginia County Drops References to "Dixie"
To hear some newcomers to Hanover County, Virginia, tell it, "Dixie" is a five-letter four-letter word. They want to change the county's annual Civil War commemoration from "Dixie Days" to something else, to avoid, among other things, offending Yankees who have moved into the county.
Dixie cups are probably OK, concedes one county official, but not "Dixie" ? that reminds everyone of, well, the South.
Jamelle Wilson, a member of an advisory panel reviewing the annual event, told a public gathering earlier this month that "Dixie Days" is "problematic" and that calling a Civil War commemoration by that name "tends to represent the past." If "Dixie" remains, the county schools shouldn't promote or endorse it, she said.
But a war, so far fairly civil, is brewing.
Grayson Jennings, commander of the Cold Harbor Guards Camp division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans of Virginia, would rather hold the commemoration on private property or even outside Hanover County, than change the name from Dixie Days.
"It's our event. We can call it what we want," Mr. Jennings says. "This is our heritage. We are not changing the name."
The advisory panel has suggested three new names, including "Civil War Days."
Some residents, county officials say, find "Dixie Days" offensive and a symbol of slavery and racism.
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